AuthorTopic: How Do You Describe the CFA Program to Non-Industry People?
@2017-05-03 15:21:15
My wife, family, and most of my friends have no idea what the CFA is or the work it requires. I've been studying for only about three weeks for the first level and the topic has already come up several times. Typically, the response I get when I say I'm studying for the CFA is, "Oh, that's nice. What's the CFA?" I never quite know what to say to this in order to express just how much work it takes. I especially want my friends to understand so it won't be a big surprise when I bail on things like golf, drinks, etc. in order to study.

Does anyone else care or have a good response to this?
@2017-05-05 03:06:08
You don't.

Hahahaha... if it's not information they need to know, then you don't have to spend too much effort explaining to them.

Just say you have to get this charter for work.

The thing is, you don't have to emphasize how difficult it is, because if they don't know, they would never understand.
@2017-05-21 00:12:28
It's hard. I sometimes say that "It's a bit like the CPA exams, except that it is designed for financial analysis, investment, and portfolio management."

That generally gets them in the ball park, because most people know someone who is a CPA (or whatever the local equivalent is). After they've gotten there, one can talk about how it's not a regulatory thing like the CPA, but requires roughly similar levels of effort to pass. How accounting tends to be about preparing accurate (or at least defensible) statements of what happened, whereas financial analysis is taking that data and trying to make defensible assessments about the company's future, etc... Itâ??s a successive-approximation kind of approach.

Ultimately what's important to communicate is 1) what kinds of things the exam is for, 2) the level of effort required to pass, and 3) what one hopes to achieve after putting in all that work. There are far fewer CFA Charterholders than CPAs (and their equivalent foreign designations) in the world, so thatâ??s one reason why people haven't heard of it.
@2018-06-12 20:04:45
A CPA buddy who convinced me to sign up said, "it's 3 test, you don't need any prior knowledge like CPA, you sign up, they send you a couple books that have everything that's on the test, you read them and go take it. Takes 2 years, like an associate degree."

I was less knowledgable than him (I was non-industry and I don't think I had ever met a charterholder in my life before) so I said, sounds easy. When I got the books in...

CFA Discussion Topic: How Do You Describe the CFA Program to Non-Industry People?

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I used your notes and passed ... highly recommended!